As population grows in WNC’s once-rural areas, the model of volunteer-based fire and rescue services is giving way to bigger budgets, more training and significant numbers of paid staff. How are the departments keeping up with the changes, and should they be required to conform to the same requirements for transparency and public oversight as other organizations funded by property taxes?
An investigation conducted by Xpress resulted with A-B Tech vowing to change the way it stores emails, look at the length of time it stores communications and consider other improvements to how the school processes open records requests.
Newspaper boxes are back in the news, with a downtown business owner saying this week that he saw city of Asheville workers removing boxes from a downtown sidewalk late one night, and this morning, some Downtown Commission members questioning the right of newspapers to place their boxes downtown with any legal protection.
Last week, Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene‘s office ordered the removal of 17 newspaper boxes in front of the courthouse, claiming they were unsightly. The move, according to North Carolina Press Association attorney Amanda Martin, was illegal and violates First Amendment protections on newspaper racks on public property.
The newspaper boxes after their removal. Photos by Jeff Tallman